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Niner Talk Bonus: NFL Draft Rumors

Posted May 6, 2014

San Francisco 49ers senior reporter Taylor Price tackles more NFL Draft questions in the latest bonus round of "Niner Talk."

Two days away.


The hype is almost over. I've listened to Drake's "Draft Day" way too many times this last month. It's time to get the 2014 NFL Draft started... which leads me to the reason for this post. When I asked for your #49ersDraft questions late last week, the 49ers Faithful brought the goods.

So let's not string this out any longer. It's time to get to the questions that didn't quite make this week's "Niner Talk" show.

This seems to be the No. 1 topic right now with the 49ers. Everyone wants to know if the team will stay at pick No. 30. There's also a lot of talk about San Francisco moving up to take a receiver in the first round.

According to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle, the team is considering another LSU prospect and former teammate of 2013 first-round pick, Eric Reid. Per Branch's unnamed source, the 49ers are "very interested" in LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham.

There's also another top prospect being floated as potential fit with the 49ers. ESPN's Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen said San Francisco "could be very aggressive" in trading up to select a prospect. Mortensen named Texas A&M wideout Mike Evans as the target.

So this leads me back to your question, will the team trade up? We're about to find out. Baalke said the team has ammunition to make a move, but read this comment very carefully:

“You’re not wheeling and dealing your third-round pick right now,” Baalke told reporters in late April. “At least I’m not.”

I think a savvy GM like Baalke values his draft selections and has the confidence that he can find a difference-maker every time he calls in a pick. If it's going to cost a future first-round choice or multiple picks in this year's bunch, I'm not so sure Baalke will make a deal. The price has to be right.

But then again, you just never know. And that's exactly what makes the draft so compelling.

Trades are harder to come by at this point in the offseason. The team is currently taking part in the second phase of the offseason program and coaches are now getting their first chance to work with new and old players. Everyone who is on an NFL roster right now is most likely going to stay with that team up until training camp unless they're a salary cap casualty. There's always a chance that trades can happen later in the summer, but the smart money says that the trade market for veterans comes to a stop the longer the offseason plays out.

Our friends at Niners Nation suggested a place called "The San Francisco Rose." I think I should get free wings for the name drop. Just saying.

Wow. Let's just get right to it...

First off, I wouldn't go crazy. I would do what's best for the long-term interests of the franchise. The draft is how you stay competitive for years. If you just trade all your picks for one player, it tends to backfire. See: Ricky Williams in 1999.

Back to your question, I will release my draft pick on Wednesday in the third and final 49ers.com Mock Draft of 2014.

How's that for a plug?

Ward appears to have position versatility at both safety and corner which is a plus, but if you're looking for a true nickle corner, special teams contributor and potential perimeter defender on base downs, Jason Verrett out of TCU seems like the better option based on his body type (5-foot-9, 189 pounds). But then again, I haven't broken down hours of the game tape like our scouting department. Verrett is a popular 49ers pick in recent mock drafts and he could be an option to replace Carlos Rogers as the team's slot defender in nickel personnel.

It's hard to say at this point. Lloyd, himself, wasn't so sure what his role would be. He told me that he's solely focused on making the team and then letting everything else work itself out.

Baalke, on the other hand, spoke confidently about Lloyd adding depth to San Francisco's wide receiver group. "We have a lot of respect for what Brandon is able to do. He’s a talented football player, and he’s a motivated football player," the 49ers GM said weeks after signing Lloyd. "He’s still got some youngness to him. He can still run. He’s still one of the better route runners at his craft, and we’re glad to have him back."

Check back with me after OTAs and minicamp and we can discuss Lloyd in greater depth.


To steal a line from Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, "You should never draft a kicker, unless he can make 70-yard field goals."

Dawson is under contract for two more years. Drafting a kicker to sit on the bench for two years makes no sense at all.

I'd say there's a chance. Baalke said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team would "take a hard look" at adding depth at inside linebacker.

Veteran Michael Wilhoite even told me that he expects competition to come, clearly referring to the draft. The 49ers are always looking to create competition and have an opportunity to do that with NaVorro Bowman on the mend to start 2014. San Francisco has Wilhoite, plus Darius Fleming returning from a second major knee injury, and second-year linebacker Nick Moody as competitors at the inside linebacker position next to Patrick Willis.

With 11 draft picks, the 49ers could take a look at inside linebacker. As for an option, Wisconsin's Chris Borland has been slotted to San Francisco in several mock drafts.

If that's what it's going to take, sure, why not?

Some people think the next Vernon Davis is North Carolina Eric Ebron. Moving up to take a high-profile tight end doesn't seem viable for this team. Plus, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the 49ers are looking at involving second-year tight end Vance McDonald even more in 2014.

Thanks everyone for the questions. Enjoy the draft and I'm sure there will be plenty of questions to answer after it all goes down.

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